by LAUREN SFORZA at thehill.com
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in remarks Sunday that Palestinians need to be able to return to their homes in Gaza as soon as it’s safe.
In a joint press conference with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Blinken said the amount of aid to Gaza must increase and that Palestinians must be able to return to their homes. He again reiterated the U.S.’s rejecting of some Israeli ministers’ comments last week that advocated for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza.
“As Israel moves to a lower-intensity phase of its military operation in the north, the United Nations can also play a crucial role in evaluating what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return home,” Blinken said on Sunday. “Palestinian civilians must be able to return home as soon as conditions allow. They cannot and they must not be pressed to leave Gaza.”
He also pushed back on statements made by Israeli ministers earlier this month when they suggested that the resettlement of Palestinians may be a result of the war. The U.S. State Department already rejected the “irresponsible” and “inflammatory” remarks made by the two Israeli ministers in a statement last week.